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Garda says new laws may ban Dublin cyclists from Luas streets

Posted on: December 2nd, 2017

cyclists ban Luas Dublin

The Garda says cycle safety is already a major concern on the streets where the Luas tram lines are located. And it may lead to a total cycling ban on those streets.

 

New laws may ban Dublin cyclists from Luas streets

 

Legislation may be introduced to ban cyclists riding on the Luas tracks in Dublin, a senior Garda officer has said.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn believes the tracks represented a new hazard for cyclists.

And depending on how those cycling on the Luas lines deal with the issue, a ban may be introduced.

Speaking to the media at a safety briefing as the new Luas line opened, Finn was asked if new legislation would be introduced.

“That is something we are going to have to review,” he said, adding the number of crashes involving cyclists on the tracks would be monitored.

“We (will) see over a period of time the full impact of it. Then we will have to reassess.

“And I’m sure the Minister and I will be having conversations about that in the future,” he added in reference to Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

For now Finn, the officer in charge of roads policing across the Republic, said the focus would be on educating cyclists about how to negotiate the tracks.

But already he believed the tracks, in which bike wheels can become stuck, were posing a safety issue.

“I know from talking to gardaí in the Dublin Metropolitan Region that it is an issue,” he said.

“It is a new presence on the street which cyclists didn’t have to encounter in the past.

“They have to be more vigilant. They have to be more careful.”

Luas had previously suggested that cycling would not be possible on some stretches of road where the new tracks left no space for those on bikes.

However, that approach was softened when Luas said an instruction for cyclists to dismount at certain points was discretionary.

Concerns about cycling safety on streets shared with Luas trams appear at odds with the reality.

Pedestrians and motorists have certainly been involved in more serious incidents with Luas trams than cyclists have.

Last year, Luas was involved in 23 contacts with vehicles, three contacts with pedestrians and two with cyclists.

And in the area of emergency braking – which Luas has linked only to cyclists in its safety campaign – the figures are even more pronounced.

In 2016 Luas was forced to emergency brake 206 times during incidents with vehicles, 131 times in cases related to pedestrians and 31 times because of cyclists.

These statistics do not include those incidents in which bicycle wheels have dropped into the Luas track and caused the cyclist to crash. Figures for such incidents are not available.

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